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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: May 6, 2011 5:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: TDIH- An Unscheduled Freebie

Today marks the 41st anniversary of the Dead's free concert at MIT in the aftermath of the Kent State tragedy. Maybe it was the cold weather (the boys can be heard bitching about it) , maybe it was the edginess of the unscheduled gig just two days after Kent State , or maybe it was some other combination of ambient factors, but to my ears this performance has a distinctly different feel than the other stops on the extrodrinary May 1970 east coast swing. No doubt because of the hasty arrangements, this show deviated from the "Evening with the Grateful Dead" format that was otherwise standard for this tour. While the performance itself is far too inconsistent to rank among the very best from this tour IMO (as a complete show, it's not in the same league as Harpur or Alfred, for example) and contains several real train wreck moments, it nevertheless features some remarkable peaks (Dancin', Dew, Good Lovin'), with the jamming reaching a fierceness approaching the tour's other high points. While I would give it five stars in the context of the band's career as a whole, I would rank it as four stars when viewed the context of 1970 alone. I'm curious as to what the rest of you think of this well known show- am I being too harsh? Too generous? Dead on?


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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: May 6, 2011 11:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- An Unscheduled Freebie

this has long been one of my favorite shows of 1970. i think your assessment is pretty dead-on, though i would personally rank this among the very best of the year.

Dancin', Dew, and Good Lovin' are definitely the best tracks here, but i would throw in the outrageous, funky St. Stephen>NFA as being one of the best of the year as well.

i also love Pigpens 'remarks' at the beginning of Good Lovin' - hilarious.

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2011-05-06 18:00:49

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 6, 2011 12:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- An Unscheduled Freebie

I think I'd give it five stars in any context. And especially considering they were playing with numb fingers! There must have been a very charged-up audience (and band) that day.

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: May 6, 2011 3:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- An Unscheduled Freebie

I'm certainly not going to debate anyone who wants to rate it that highly. Four stars or five, it's definitely one of the year's most notable shows.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: May 6, 2011 7:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- An Unscheduled Freebie

I'd give it five stars, perhaps 97-98 pts. Sound quality could be better. Nice jamming during Dancin' in the Streets. But I don't know if it would crack the top fifteen shows of 1970. The year is just so rich in extraordinary peformances. In the top-twenty of '70 for sure!

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Poster: turnphilup Date: May 6, 2011 7:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- An Unscheduled Freebie

Dead On to me. This Dancin' has always had the ability to stop me from whatever I was doing. I then start starring into the distance and begin to wonder just how in the hell these guys manage to create this incredible cohesive sound-scape. All during such a difficult time period, throw in some harsh weather conditions, and on a at best on a makeshift stage. Then, it could be that maybe it was just these type of ingredients, that lead us to the performance we got.

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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: May 6, 2011 11:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- An Unscheduled Freebie

Re: "Then, it could be that maybe it was just these type of ingredients, that lead us to the performance we got."

You scooped us with your Bohemian Grove post. That was arguably your most "successful" post on this forum. This is due to all the secrecy and history surrounding these power brokers and their BG nonsense. We learned a lot about this, thanks to you.

Then you back-pedaled on yourself 16 months later. In this post of yours you said, "I try to ignore all the political stuff, (my bohemian grove comment ignited a tense discussion that goes nowhere) so it's a waste of time. The trolls are just that, so enough about them."

I would respectfully ask you and others (such as LiA) to reconsider this posture. The Troll problems here are due entirely to the anonymity factor, NOT due to topical and informative discussions here. This place is our Public Library. It's NOT a Juke Box!

On the one hand - many people here are trying to get inside the heads of The Boys, The Crew, the engineers, the promoters: why did they play this way or that; why did they do this or not that; why did they sing this way or that; why did someone say certain things on tape; or why tapes are missing or spliced, or mixed in a certain way, or had reels flipped one way or another.

On the other hand - I still find it necessary to repeat: GD shows, tours, venues, The Crew, sound equipment, and the tapes thereof, did NOT occur in a vacuum - NOR did they occur in social isolation. A lot of things happened for a lot of reasons. AND, for that matter, the same things can be said for other bands who also have tapes that are in circulation.

So yes, for example - you're right again about the weather on TDIH. It was a bit of a raw New England spring day. I believe the temps were in the low to mid 40s in degrees F. Just grasping drum sticks to play drums would have been tricky in this icy cold, not to mention, picking strings and feeling chords.

Our old friend Sky Dawg mentioned this 2 ½ years ago: "I ran across this old 1968 Presidential campaign ad on the IA put out by Richard Nixon. As I watched Nixon's ad about the state of American youth circa 1968 I was shocked when I saw that he used Jerry's picture, complete with the Uncle Sam hat in his ad. Anyone wanting to check it out will find it on track 7 labeled "American Youth". Wonder if Jerry knew his picture was used by Nixon?" It's hard for me to imagine Jer was unaware of this.

My older brother was getting drafted, but he was able to serve instead with the Naval Air Reserves. My draft status at this point was the infamous 1A: go to the front of the line! I had some friends who had been drafted and sent to Nam, and other friends who joined up to serve over there. Some were coming back from Vietnam addicted to heroin, and some others were coming back maimed and disfigured. One of my friends came back a junkie, and his leg was blown off. Some of my friends came home in body bags.

Richard Nixon was elected President in 1968, promising to end the Vietnam War. Instead, on April 30, 1970, in a televised address, President Nixon announced to the nation that an "incursion" into Cambodia had been launched by United States combat forces.


At Kent State University, a massive demonstration was held on May 1, 1970 on the Commons, and another had been planned for May 4. There was widespread anger, and many protesters issued a call to "bring the war home." The Ohio National Guard was ordered to Kent State to quell the protests. They shot and killed four students and wounded nine. Two of the four students killed, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, had participated in the protest, and the other two, Sandra Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder, had been walking from one class to the next at the time of their deaths. Schroeder was also a member of the campus ROTC chapter.

Kent State massacre

College campuses around the US erupted.
There were protests, student strikes, and campus takeovers.

What was the "official response" by the Grateful Dead? The Boys played a free benefit concert at the M.I.T. protest on May 6, 1970. For me, this was by far GD's finest moment. Here is the SBD


I'm proud to be an American Dead Head

Monte's Taper Handbook

This post was modified by dead-head_Monte on 2011-05-06 18:26:08

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